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FutureStarrAPTOPIX NCAA Furman Virginia Basketball
On Thursday night, Furman Paladins upset fourth-seeded Virginia 68-67 to advance to play San Diego State or Charleston in the second round of the South Region on Saturday.
Kihei Clark, who had starred as a freshman on Virginia's 2019 national title-winning team, threw an interception at midcourt with 7 seconds left that Garrett Hien intercepted at midcourt to set up JP Pegues' game-winning basket.
In APTOPIX NCAA Furman Virginia Basketball, the 13th-seeded Paladins upset fourth-seeded Virginia Cavaliers 68-67 in an exciting first round game. This win propels Furman into the second round of South region play where they will face either fifth-seeded San Diego State or 12th-seeded Charleston.
The Paladins (28-7) have won 15 of their past 16 games and finished in the top 10 of the Southern Conference, earning them their first appearance in the tournament since 1980.
They have won their last six games by double digits, holding opponents to an average of 61.7 points per game and 53.2 percent shooting from the field. Furthermore, they ranked third nationally with a 2.21 team assist-turnover ratio and seventh in rebounding percentage.
Furman University earned its first appearance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament since 1980 with a victory against fifth-seeded San Diego State, who will take on 12th-seeded Charleston on Saturday afternoon.
Coach Tony Bennett had led UVA to their ninth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, leading them to a 16-9 record in 10 tournaments. UVA has won four of its last five against teams ranked among the top 20 according to AP poll and is 2-0 all-time against Furman University.
The Cavaliers led 57-54 with 5:02 left before the Paladins went on a 19-4 run to take their first lead of the game. Kihei Clark threw an intercepted pass that was intercepted by Garrett Hein at midcourt, and JP Pegues hit a game-winning 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds remaining to give Furman its first victory of the day.
Cavaliers fans experienced their second first round loss as higher seeds in three years -- this coming on the five year anniversary of their stunning upset win against 16th-seeded UMBC five years earlier. Two years prior, they were eliminated in the same round by 13th-seeded Ohio University.
On Thursday morning, the NCAA Tournament got underway with several shocking upsets and a heartbreaking loss for University of Virginia. Making their first tournament appearance since 2018, the Cavaliers were defeated 68-67 by 13th seed Furman at Amway Center in Orlando.
Late in the first half, Virginia Tech had a double-digit lead. But Furman was slowing down and Jalen Slawson hit a big three to put Furman ahead 57-54 with 5:02 remaining. With five seconds left, Slawson made two free throws to give his team an even 59-58 advantage; then one more shot sealed it for them in the final minute of play.
Slawson finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and four assists to earn him the title of Southern Conference Player of the Year. Redshirt-junior Marcus Foster added 14 points while Mike Bothwell contributed 11 in the win.
Furman (28-7) secured a victory that will see them advance to the second round of the South region against fifth-seeded San Diego State or 12th-seeded College of Charleston, both of whom were defeated in their opening rounds by Kansas and Howard respectively.
On the five-year anniversary of Furman's stunning upset victory against 16th-seeded UMBC, they continued their remarkable run with a win that earned them 28-7 records and 15 victories in 16 games. At BetMGM books, more bets were placed on Furman plus the points than any other team--including Maryland (5.5) which defeated West Virginia 67-65.
This was only the third time the Paladins had ever won an NCAA Tournament game and their first in 43 years. Now they will face either San Diego State or College of Charleston on Saturday in the second round.
In the opening round, Maryland overcame a slow start and Kedrian Johnson's final heave at the buzzer to beat West Virginia 67-65. Julian Reese scored 17 points - his career high.
In the second round of the tournament, Maryland will face top-seeded Alabama. Meanwhile, Kansas, who were the first historically black college to make it in 126 years, lost to Terrapins 96-68.
Furman University earned a 68-67 victory against fourth-seeded Virginia on April 7, advancing them into the second round of the tournament and their first trip since 1974 to the Sweet Sixteen and first NCAA Tournament since 1980 - becoming the first SoCon team ever to make it this far in the competition.
On Thursday night, 13th-seeded Furman stunned both fans and the betting books with a 68-67 victory against fourth-seeded Virginia to advance to Saturday's second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Paladins (28-7) used an impressive 9-0 run capped off by three 3-pointers from Marcus Foster and Mike Bothwell to take a commanding 57-54 lead with 5:02 remaining in regulation time.
Jalen Slawson and Mike Bothwell each hit 3-pointers to extend the lead to 72-59 with just over six minutes remaining. Reece Beekman's attempt at a game-winning 3-pointer that missed off the back iron with under 2.4 seconds remaining provided the only respite for the Cavaliers.
Slawson, the Southern Conference player of the year, led all scorers with 19 points and 10 rebounds. He tied his career high with four assists and handed out two of their eight steals.
Unfortunately for Howard University, their first tournament appearance since 1992 ended in a heartbreaking 96-68 defeat to top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks. A loud roar at the center-court video board did little to improve Howard's chances, as only free throws from Gradey Dick and outstanding defense from Kansas' Azuolas Tubelis kept them ahead.
Watching this game was an unforgettable experience - it marked the first time Amway Center in Orlando has hosted an NCAA tournament game.
Sports Writer Eric Olson from Des Moines, Iowa contributed to this report. He has been covering the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments since 2005 and is the author of "The Best Basketball Games in College," a book that documents college basketball's history. Additionally, he has penned numerous articles for publications like Sporting News and ESPN. The AP's coverage of the tournament will continue throughout this week as it moves to Charlotte, North Carolina.
College of Charleston is the sole NCAA Division I men's basketball program in South Carolina and competes in the Colonial Athletic Association. All home games are played at TD Arena on campus in Charleston.
The team is off to one of its best starts in program history, ranking in the AP Top 25 for the first time in two decades with an impressive 21-1 record.
This year for the Cougars is one of historic accomplishments, both on the court and in their community. Their home games consistently draw over 2,000 fans, with sellouts at TD Arena already surpassing expectations for this season.
Thus far this year, the college's athletic department has had an exceptional year, making more money than ever before and taking in more donations than ever before - a trend athletic director Bill Roberts attributes to the Cougars' success on the court.
Roberts noted that the team's success on the court has translated to an increase in advertising-equivalent dollars for the university. According to data from their media monitoring software, coverage related to CofC basketball during the first half of this season generated more than $254,000 worth of ad-equivalent revenue for them.
Since January 1st, CofC's advertising-equivalent has grown to more than $66 million - an extraordinary amount of revenue for a college in South Carolina and one that makes their financial future brighter, according to Roberts.
If you're a fan of the College of Charleston men's basketball team, be sure to get your tickets for their first NCAA Tournament appearance in a few weeks. The team is expected to play in Greensboro, North Carolina.
In the college's tournament run, the Cougars have several must-watch matchups that you won't want to miss. They will be taking on teams like San Diego State and Furman for a shot at glory!
Don't miss out on College of Charleston basketball tickets when you buy them! The team is determined to bring their winning ways back onto the hardwood, so don't miss out on this exciting opportunity to be part of all the action!